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Do Fourth Generation GTO’s Measure Up to Their Predecessors?

In 1964, Pontiac introduced its first GTOs and dominated the muscle car segment. They remained in production until 1974. In 2004, the model was brought back to the brand’s lineup. Its design was based on the third-generation Holden Monaro, part of GM’s Australian division.


2004 GTO

2004 Pontiac GTOThe 2004 GTO was a departure from the past. It contained an all-independent suspension and unibody construction. In addition, it was the first GTO with four-wheel disc brakes and a six-speed manual transmission. Drivers interested in power were not disappointed by the 5.7-liter, V8 engine that produced 350 horsepower. The 2004 model was extremely fast, and the optional automatic transmission could blast the car from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. This version was well-built but received a lukewarm reception.


2005 GTO

2005 Pontiac GTOThe 2005 GTO expanded on the previous model year. It saw an addition of hood scoops and a split-rear exhaust. Inside, the gauges were refreshed as well. The most important changes took place out of sight. The LS1 engine was replaced with the LS2 motor, which heightened output to 400 horsepower. Thanks to the switch, Pontiac had a car that could go zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.


2006 GTO

2006 Pontiac GTOIn 2006, Pontiac brought the GTO era to a permanent end. It was the last year for production. However, the 2006 model stayed true to its roots and continued to provide top performance. This GTO included the same 6.0 liter LS2 V8 engine and retained its 400 horsepower output. On the exterior, revised blackout tail lamps were added. At the end of February 2006, GM announced the last GTOs would roll off the assembly line.

Although the fourth-generation GTOs were criticized for a boring style that lacked nostalgic value, they attempted to reclaim Pontiac’s domination of muscle cars. During the time of final production, the manufacturer explained the car could not meet the newly established airbag deployment standards for the upcoming year, and the expense was too high for a limited run. Almost a decade later, the entire Pontiac brand has been discontinued. Unfortunately, this means the “goat” has been put to pasture for good.

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